Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bent Knee Tour North America + Europe to Celebrate 'Say So' Release

Boston-Based Art-Rockers
- BENT KNEE -
Embark on Spring/Summer 2016 Tour of
North America and Europe Celebrating
their Cuneiform debut,
Say So,
a World-Class Album
Brimming with Catchy, Captivating Songs
That Channel the Best from Rock’s Spectrum,
from Pop to the Avant Garde




[Bent Knee | photo credit: Chris Anderson]

// BENT KNEE - TOUR DATES: 2016 //



May 19
7:30PM
USA ONCE Ballroom
156 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
*official Boston record release show!*
May 20
7:30PM
USA Songbyrd Music House
2477 18th St NW
Washington, DC
*official DC record release show!*
May 21
7:30PM
USA Orion Live Music Showcase
Orion Sound

2903 Whittington Ave, STE C
Baltimore, MD
June 2
8PM
USA Empire
575 Congress St
Portland, ME 04101
June 4
8PM
USA Lyric Hall
827 Whalley Ave
New Haven, CT 06515
June 5
8PM
USA News Cafe
43 Broad St
Pawtucket, RI 02860
June 8
8PM
USA Bube’s Brewery
102 N Market St
Mount Joy, PA 17552
June 9
11PM
USA The Bowery Electric
327 Bowery
NYC, NY 10003
June 10
8PM
USA private concert
Worcester, OH
[contact band for details]
June 11
8PM
USA Louie’s Back Room
629 Walbridge St
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
June 12
9PM
USA Ladder 11
936 Brown St
Dayton, OH 45409
June 13
9PM
USA miniBar
3810 Broadway
Kansas City, MO 64111
June 16
8PM
USA Elbo Room
647 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
June 17
8PM
USA SLG Art Boutiki
44 Race St
San Jose, CA 95126
June 18
9PM
USA Black Forest
50 E 11th Ave
Eugene, OR 97401
June 20
8PM
USA Victory Lounge
433 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle, WA 98109
June 21
9PM
USA Coo Coo Nest
1017 East 1st St
Port Angeles, WA
June 22
8PM
CA The Vault
499 Wallace St
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5B7, Canada
June 25
8PM
CA Campbell Bay Music Festival
Iredale Farm
327 Campbell Bay Road
Mayne Island, B.C.
Canada
July 28 DE Burg Herzberg Festival
Hof Huhnstadt
Breitenbach Am Herzberg
Germany
August 4 CZ Eurocentrum
Jablonec Nad Nisou
Czech Republic

---



BENT KNEE
SAY SO


Cat. #: Rune 417, Format: CD [8-Panel Digipak] / Digital Download
Genre: Rock / Indie Rock / Art-Rock / Pop / Avant-Progressive
Release Date: May 20, 2016

"...a celebration of creative freedom and unrestricted musicianship... easily one of the best albums of the year."
- Rebel Noise

"Mind boggling... the grandest and subtlest ideas are on the table."
- NPR's The ARTery

"...a record that confirms its eloquence and ebullience, while also breaking new stylistic and temperamental ground."
- The Boston Globe

"Like the best birthday party you’ve had in years."
- Goldmine Magazine


STREAM/SHARE: "Leak Water"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

MUSIC VIDEOS

[WATCH: Bent Knee - Leak Water (Official Video)]


[WATCH: Bent Knee - Black Tar Water (Official Video)]


Say So Track Listing:

1. Black Tar Water (3:29)
2. Leak Water (4:41)
3. Counselor (5:51)
4. Eve (9:12)
5. Transition (0:49)
6. The Things You Love (6:12)
7. Nakami (5:20)
8. Commercial (3:44)
9. Hands Up (5:40)
10. Good Girl (6:39)

for radio:
Start with: #1, 2, 3, 9
FCC:
CLEAN

Bent Knee
Ben Levin: guitar and vocals
Chris Baum: violin
Courtney Swain: vocals and keyboards
Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth: drums
Jessica Kion: bass and vocals
Vince Welch: synths and sounds

Additional performances by:
Andy Bergman
: alto sax and clarinet
Ben Swartz: cello
Bryan Murphy: trumpet
Geni Skendo: flute and shakuhachi
Geoff Nielsen: trombone
Keith Dickerhofe: cello
Nathan Cohen: violin
Sam Morrison: baritone sax
Rebecca Hallowell: viola

Group vocals for “Counselor” and “The Things You Love”
Alessandra Cugno, Andrew Humphries, Anil Prasad, Celine Ferro, Clint Degan, Curtis Hartshorn, Geni Skendo, James Willetts, Jeri Schibelli, Jessie Vitale, Josh Golberg, Kelsey Devlin, Leilani Roser, Leo Fonseca, Mary Freedlund, Max Freedlund, Michael Vitale, Mike Razo, Miriam Olken, Peter Danilchuk, Rebecca Hallowell, Roland Rotsitaille, Ryan Jackson, Sam Swan, Stephen Humphries, Susan Putnins, Tim Doherty, Toni Schibelli, Tori Bedford

Written and performed by Bent Knee.
Produced and mixed by Vince Welch.
Engineered by Matt Beaudoin at Q Division Sound.
Additional engineering by Chris McLaughlin and Vince Welch.
Assistant engineering by Grace Reader, Griffin Bach, Jamie Rowe, Joel Edinberg, Matt Carlson, Michael Healy, and Steven Xia.

Mastered by Randy Roos at Squam Sound.

Recorded at Q Division Studios, The Record Company, and Converse Rubber Tracks, Boston.

Album art by Greg Bowen.

"Bent Knee's musicianship is superb, with vocals to die for, an interesting new turn at every corner, and never a dull moment. Highly recommended."
- Bill Bruford

"Say So resoundingly demonstrates the increasing refinement and confidence of a group that doesn't quite fit any conventional pigeonhole, with emphatic crunch, a knack for complexity, mixed with lively wit."
- The Boston Globe

"...the new fantastic Bent Knee record... Brilliant! This band will soon be everywhere!"
- Nik Bärtsch

“Intricately woven, surrealist stylings... a potent sense of urgency tingles the air.”
- Consequence of Sound

Bent Knee is a band without frontiers. The Boston-based group seamlessly connects the worlds of rock, pop and the avant-garde into its own self-defining statement. On its Cuneiform debut release Say So, the band focuses on the sound of surprise. It’s rock for the thinking person. The group’s lyrics are dark and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations and the difficulty of conquering them. Its mercurial sound matches its subject matter. It’s a thrilling aural roller-coaster ride with arrangements designed to make listeners throw their arms up in wild abandon as they engage with them.

Say So resoundingly demonstrates the increasing refinement and confidence of a group that doesn’t quite fit any conventional pigeonhole, with emphatic crunch, a knack for complexity, mixed with lively wit,” said Steve Smith of The Boston Globe. “Live, the band projects visceral glee, exactingly harmonized and wholly infectious.”

Founded in 2009, Bent Knee is a true collective. The band operates as a democratic entity with sky-high standards and a determination to push boundaries. Frontwoman and keyboardist Courtney Swain’s acrobatic, multi-octave vocals are nothing less than extraordinary. Guitarist Ben Levin morphs between the hauntingly melodic and extreme, dissonant sonics—sometimes within a single verse or passage. Bassist Jessica Kion and drummer Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth deliver deep and thunderous grooves, full of engaging, intriguing ornamentation. Violinist Chris Baum’s driving melodic overlays and atmospheres further take the band’s sound into wild territory. And all of it is brilliantly processed and produced by sound designer Vince Welch.

Bent Knee has remained on a skyward trajectory since forming. Its last two albums, 2014’s Shiny Eyed Babies and its self-titled 2011 release, have been celebrated as significant art-rock achievements by important music publications, including Consequence of Sound, The Needle Drop, Innerviews, and Eclipsed. The group has performed more than 300 shows across the U.S., Canada and Japan to date and will embark on its first European tour this year. They’ve also headlined at major festivals and venues including The Lincoln Center, ROSfest, Tulsa Center of the Universe, and Campbell Bay Music Fest.

“What Bent Knee does is fuse the most extreme ends of pop and avant-garde music together,” says Welch. “We feel those things aren’t nearly as mutually exclusive as most people think.”

“When I listen back to Say So, I think it’s the most accessible thing Bent Knee has ever done,” continues Wallace-Ailsworth. “But other times, I think it’s the strangest thing Bent Knee has ever done. For instance, ‘Leak Water’ is a relatively linear rock tune by our standards, whereas ‘Eve’ is a sprawling, epic with radical twists and turns. I think the album reflects the full spectrum of our diverse musical personalities.”

Those extremes are also mirrored in the album’s lyrical themes.

“On Say So, we’re looking at the bigger picture and figuring out where we as individuals stand and how we carve out meaning in this giant universe,” explains Baum. “The album art captures that idea too. It’s why it features a figure lost in the woods, surrounded by darkness but looking out into the light.”

Even with those signifiers and aims, the band prefers its lyrics to be wide open to interpretation. It feels both listeners and the group itself benefit from that perspective.

“I’ve had listeners come up to me and say ‘Good Girl’ from Say So is a strong statement against women being patronized or oppressed and that hit me really hard,” says Swain. “It’s possible to consider those lyrics in that context, and that perspective helped me connect even more closely with the song. How people perceive our songs helps enrich and refresh the pieces for us as we perform them over time.”


[Bent Knee | photo credit: Chris Anderson]

One of the elements that significantly distinguishes Bent Knee is its adventurous arrangements. Each track is a true journey. In fact, pieces like “Eve” and “Counselor” are so diverse they reflect an almost “songs-within-a-song” approach.

“We try not to repeat ourselves within our structures,” says Kion. “If we find we’re creating a pattern such as ramping into a loud section and landing in a soft section right after it twice in a row, we’ll break it as soon as we notice it. We don't want to bore ourselves. We also want to surprise and intrigue listeners. We’re always trying to do new things with arrangements.”

“Another thing that stands out for us on Say So is that there are more dynamics within the sections of each piece,” adds Levin. “On previous albums, there were huge dynamic differences between sections. You’d hear songs that alternate between quiet passages, explosions, grooves, and long builds. On Say So, within a section, you’ll hear a lot more variety of loud and quiet, fullness and emptiness, ambience and dryness, and timbre changes. If you drew the dynamic arc of some of these pieces, it would look kind of like a Rorschach inkblot.”

Adding to Say So’s intrigue is the group’s decision to record some of the album in an unconventional space.

“A friend of ours pointed us to an empty, unlocked, million-square foot industrial complex in Boston,” says Baum. “We went in there to record so we could explore its unique sonic atmosphere. It felt like zombies were going to jump out anytime. It was a foreboding locale and gave the session a distinctly dark vibe. We captured some wild, reverb-drenched background vocals there.”

Prior to hitting the studio, the band road-tested Say So’s material at more than 50 gigs.

“It was extremely valuable to see how the pieces went over with audiences,” says Swain. “Playing live also gives all six of us a comprehensive understanding of where we sit in the registers of the songs, enabling us to adjust where the instruments fit in the mix. It’s also important for us to see how the lyrical motifs go over. The songs would be presented 70-80 percent finished to the audiences, leaving us with room to evolve the approach before finalizing them.”

Say So is a world-class album on every level. The band collectively obsessed over every detail in its determination to set a new standard for itself and the universe of ambitious songcraft.

“We now live in a time in which pretty much anyone in the Western world has access to the vast majority of recordings online,” says Welch. “So, the competition for musicians isn’t just the band down the street anymore. The competition is bands as big as Radiohead. To have a shot at success you have to aim to be that good. But even that’s not enough. You have to be patient and work at building up your audience like we’ve done for the last seven years. One of our mentors, the producer Susan Rogers, said to us ‘Slow growth is real growth.’ It’s advice we’ve taken to heart across this journey.”

That journey has now brought them into Cuneiform’s orbit—a transition the band is thrilled with on every level.

“It means a lot for us to be on Cuneiform because of the incredibly high standards of the other artists on the roster,” says Levin. “It’s a world where music is treated as art. Working with Cuneiform means we can make the music we love and connect with a lot of like-minded listeners. It’s fantastic to be in such great company, both in terms of the musicians they work with, as well as the uncompromising vision the label adheres to.”

PROMOTIONAL TRACK //
If you'd like to share music from this release with your readers/listeners, please feel free to use the following track:
"Leak Water": @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

PURCHASE LINKS
//
ITUNES - AMAZON - BANDCAMP - WAYSIDE MUSIC

ARTIST WEB SITES //
www.bentkneemusic.com - Bent Knee on Facebook - Bent Knee on Twitter
Bent Knee on CuneiformRecords.com

Friday, May 13, 2016

Cuneiform's New Releases for May 2016: REZ ABBASI & JUNCTION / BENT KNEE / THUMBSCREW




CUNEIFORM RECORDS ANNOUNCES ITS
MAY / SPRING 2016 RELEASES
:

REZ ABBASI & JUNCTION

BENT KNEE

THUMBSCREW:
MARY HALVORSON / MICHAEL FORMANEK / TOMAS FUJIWARA

___

It’s mid-May, and it’s been raining for weeks at Cuneiform World Headquarters. I’ve grown past damning the grey to a state of acceptance; the steady mist is a ritual bath, seasonal cleansing before revelations to come.

Any day now, the clouds will break, the sun will emerge, and the world will become a Technicolor dreamscape, the land awash in green grass, brightly colored flowers and trees puffed fat with green leaves. Spring and early summer is a magical time in metro Washington DC. With every blink of an eye, a thousand living things spring to life.

Here at Cuneiform, beneath the mist, the Garden of Music likewise hums with new life, brimming with fully-formed new blossoms. It’s time for Cuneiform to announce its 2016 Spring / Summer New Releases, but this season we’re doing something NEW: we’re releasing our Spring/Summer albums in two separate and very special groups: one on May 20, 2016; and one on June 24, 2016. Each group consists of three titles: two jazz&beyond, and one rock&beyond.

Cuneiform's May 20th New Releases include Convallaria, an album named after an iconic Spring flower of delicate white bells on green stems, commonly called Lily of the Valley, which is simultaneously one of nature’s most aromatic and highly poisonous plants. Convallaria is the highly-anticipated 2nd release by Thumbscrew, a collaborative “trio of equals” composed of bassist Michael Formanek, drummer Tomas Fujiwara, and Mary Halvorson, one of the most acclaimed guitarists on jazz’s contemporary scene.

Another world-class guitarist, Rez Abbasi, will release a new album on Cuneiform on May 20th: Behind the Vibration, the debut recording by Junction, Abbasi's new electric jazz quartet with Kenny Grohowski, Mark Shim and Ben Stivers.  In Behind the Vibration, Abbasi’s explorations into jazz rock and fusion’s fertile soil comes to full flower; the album is packed with revelations, original compositions by Abbasi that burst jazz and genre borders to embrace a world of musical influences from across his career.

Cuneiform’s third May 20th release is another sonic revelation as well as a lyrical surprise: the album Say So, a world-class monument of rock / post-rock / avant-progressive / art rock by Bostonian band Bent Knee. Simultaneously startling and accessible, Say So consists of 10 rock tunes exquisitely sculpted from elements across the rock spectrum from pop to the avant garde, and emblazoned by vocalist Courtney Swain’s dark lyrics.

Artists with Spring and Summer 2016 Releases on Cuneiform will be performing LIVE internationally over the coming months.  Their upcoming concerts are listed below, following the in-depth info for each new release. We also encourage you to visit the Cuneiform Record's Tour Page, which includes a regularly-updated list of all Cuneiform artists with upcoming shows/tours, as well as a Google concert calendar which you could synch with your own:


Best regards
Joyce
for the Cuneiform Records team

--------------------------

CUNEIFORM'S NEW RELEASES:
MAY / SPRING 2016

PRE-ORDERS are NOW AVAILABLE


Rez Abbasi & Junction
Behind the Vibration
Genre: Jazz / Jazz-Rock /
Electric Jazz / Fusion
Release Date: 5/20/2016
"Self-Brewing"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Bent Knee
Say So
Genre: Rock / Indie Rock /
Art-Rock / Pop / Avant-Progressive
Release Date: 5/20/2016
"Leak Water"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
Thumbscrew:
Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara
Convallaria
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 5/20/2016
"Sampsonian Rhythms"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube
-----


CUNEIFORM'S NEW RELEASES
MAY / SPRING 2016

21st Century Jazz-Rock and Much More:
Guitarist Rez Abbasi & Junction
Bring Together a Vast World of Influences on
Behind the Vibration


REZ ABBASI & JUNCTION
BEHIND THE VIBRATION

STREAM/SHARE: "Self-Brewing"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

Cat. #: Rune 424, Format: CD / Digital Download
Genre: Jazz / Jazz-Rock / Electric Jazz / Fusion
Release Date: May 20, 2016

A junction is the point at which several things converge. For the visionary and award-winning jazz guitarist Rez Abbasi, his new band Junction weaves together musical currents he’s spent his career navigating. Abbasi has been at the center of some of the most enthralling and culturally expansive music of the past two decades, and his Cuneiform debut Behind the Vibration introduces a bracing new body of music, a sinewy 21st century approach to jazz-rock inspired by his far-flung influences.

In myriad inspired collaborations, from the South Asian jazz synthesis of alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coaltion to the Punjab-meets-Tuareg vocal flights of Kiran Ahluwalia, Abbasi has manifested an uncommon gift for creating new sounds in settings deeply inflected by traditional forms. In his own projects, the Pakistani-American musician has displayed similarly fierce creativity, like his gorgeous unplugged reimagining of jazz-rock classics with the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet’s (RAAQ) critically hailed 2015 album Intents and Purposes (Enja), and his all-star quintet (and sometimes sextet) Invocation with Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, drummer Dan Weiss, (and latest addition cellist Elizabeth Means).

“Everything I do musically is stimulated by call and response,” Abbasi says. “I did the Acoustic Quartet project of covers from the ‘70s jazz-rock period and that impacted me to want to do an electric project of all originals. The new album reflects a continuum of what I’ve been doing all along – finding fresh orchestrations to present my music through. In some ways this project connects me more directly back to my first love, the energy that comes out of rock music. I wrote new tunes for this band and it was time for all these musical worlds to collide.”

Junction, the electric project that Abbasi formed to bring his original tunes to life, features Mark Shim on tenor saxophone and the electronic MIDI Wind Controller, Ben Stivers on keyboards, B-3 organ and Rhodes, and drummer Kenny Grohowski. The band is a supremely maleable ensemble that has forged a poised and texturally accute group approach. While exploring a vivid palette of electronic sounds and aggressive grooves, Junction maintains the dynamics, precise calibration, and interactive imperative of an inspired jazz ‘acoustic’ combo.

Sonically surprising, the album opens with “Holy Butter,” a piece inspired by a collaboration with classical South Indian dancers. In the first of many sonic feints, what sounds like a deeply funky bass solo is actually Shim getting down with his MIDI Wind Controller. Indeed, not having a defined bass player is a significant element of Junction, opening up the band’s sound as Stivers and Shim alternate low end responsibilities.

Inspired by the Arab Spring, “Groundswell” is a slowly ascending tune that, while originally written for another ensemble, comes home in Junction, with Stivers on B-3—“the first electric keyboard instrument,” Abbasi notes—and a searing Abbasi solo followed by Shim’s oragami-angular tenor.  If that piece evokes the mounting of external pressure, “Uncommon Sense” suggests a wending internal spiritual journey with a hypnautically sinuous opening guitar line. As Abbasi puts it, “The title refers to a ‘sense’ that’s beyond our five and one that’s more difficult to connect to due to the clutter in our minds.” Before long, the becalmed lyricism gives way to a frantic search powered by Grohowski’s exceptionally deft trap work.

A sparsely decorated noir scene that emerges and departs without pausing for a solo, “And I You” is a brief, cinematic mood piece that arrives mid-album like a shimmering urban oasis. “Self-Brewing” is one of the album’s most fusion-y pieces, with a steeplechase theme introduced by Abbasi and Shim on Midi Wind Controller. The album closes with “Matter Falls,” a mid-tempo anthem that hints at South Asian cadences. Both grand and invitingly intimate, it’s a crunching tune that points to further explorations. Clearly, Junction is just one stop on a spectacularly rich and incident-filled sojourn.

More than a meeting place, Junction is a communion of four distinct voices. Born in Jamaica and raised in Richmond, Virginia, saxophonist Mark Shim has been a stand out on the New York scene since the mid-1990s. He first gained attention via bari legend Hamiett Bluiett, who featured him on his classic 1995 album Young Warrior, Old Warior (Mapleshade). He went on to work with heavyweights like Elvin Jones, Betty Carter, David Murray, Greg Osby, and the Mingus Big Band. More recently, he’s played a key role in the adventurous bands led by altoist Steve Lehman and pianist Vijay Iyer.

“Mark is a ridiculous tenor saxophone player, but he’s also really into production, working with drum machines and producing people’s records,” Abbasi says. “He’s tapped into the Zeitgeist, the vibe that’s going on now and I’m open to all of it.”

Raised in Las Vegas in a highly musical family, trained in classical and jazz, Ben Stivers got his start on the Miami studio scene collaborating extensively with the Bee Gees. A highly versatile player, he’s been sought out by the likes of Ricky Martin, Chris Botti, Matchbox Twenty, and Jose Feliciano. Since moving to New York, he’s also worked extensively in jazz settings.

Drummer Kenny Grohowski is engaged in a similarly expansive array of projects. Raised in Miami, he’s a member of several internationally acclaimed ensembles, including bassist Lonnie Plaxico’s band, the heavy metal band Secret Chiefs 3 and Haitian singer Emeline Michel’s Acoustic Quintet. He’s collaborated with artists ranging from Vernon Reid, John Zorn and Bobby Sanabria to Bill T. Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Daniel Bernard Roumain (a.k.a. DBR).

“You don’t have many musicians as eclectic as these in the past,” Abbasi says. “For example, Kenny has all this modern heavy metal language and then he can turn around and earnestly play like Paul Motian or Tony Williams. Ben has been musical director and keyboardist for some huge pop acts but has also performed my complex Hindustani-influenced jazz music. The versatility is pretty unusual and tangible and that’s what this project is about, capturing and containing that vastness of energy in a ‘jazz’ experience.”

Born in Pakistan’s teeming commercial metropolis Karachi and raised in Southern California, Abbasi is anything but a usual jazz player himself. He’s spent his creative life navigating the crossroads of disparate musical realms. Growing up in Torrance, he first gravitated to the guitar under the sway of rock bands like Rush, Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. Straight ahead jazz had caught his ear by the time he started Palos Verdes High School and he thrived in the school’s respected band program (future tenor sax star Mark Turner was a classmate). He had his first guitar epiphany when a friend took him to see Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald.

“I was 16 and at that age, technique and virtuosity are elements that bring you in,” Abbasi says. “The idea that an older gentleman could play circles around Eddie Van Halen was really striking. I realized I had a lot of work ahead of me. That same year, I saw Allan Holdsworth, the polar opposite of Pass, and that was another ear and eye opener that lead me into a different direction.” I do still love Pass and Holdsworth, but they didn’t end up becoming big influences, rather, in combination they revealed two very opposing sides of jazz.”

He wasn’t drawn to Hindustani music until he happened to attend a private party down the street from his house where tabla maestro Zakir Hussain was performing with santoor master Shivkumar Sharma “and it blew me away,” he recalls. “I felt that same elation when I saw Pass and Holdsworth. Sitting five feet away from these gentlemen, I was amazed by the striking sounds coming out of their instruments. I thought, I’ve got to get more involved with this side of my life, my roots.”

After attending the University of Southern California, Abbasi made the move to New York City in the late 1980s to study jazz and classical music at Manhattan School of Music (while immersing himself in North Indian classical music on a pilgrimage to India under the tutelage of tabla giant Ustad Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain’s father). He made his recording debut as a leader in 1995 with Third Ear. Recognized as a strikingly original voice, Abbasi released a series of landmark sessions in the succeeding two decades focusing on his original compositions, including 2005’s Indo-jazz Snake Charmer with Indian-born vocalist/songwriter and now wife, Kiran Ahluwalia, and 2009’s Things To Come (Sunnyside) with Ahluwalia, Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Johannes Weidenmueller and Dan Weiss (an album hailed by DownBeat as one of the decade’s top CDs).

In many ways 2009 was a banner year, as Abbasi received a prestigious Chamber Music America commission to compose new works for the same ensemble, Invocation. He also formed the Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet, or RAAQ, with vibraphonist Bill Ware, drummer Eric McPherson and bassist Stephan Crump, to explore both originals and cover tunes. He introduced a new trio with bassist John Hebért and drummer Satoshi Takeishi on 2013’s Continuous Beat (Enja), a group that like RAAQ interprets originals and ingenious modern jazz compositions.

While best known for his work as an improviser, and composer, Abbasi also performs internationally with Kiran Ahluwalia, and serves as musical director, arranger and producer in their evolving artistic collaboration. Their creatively charged relationship has resulted in several Juno Award-winning albums hailed as world music masterpieces (such as 2008’s Wanderlust and 2011’s collaboration with Tuareg rockers Tinariwen, Aam Zameen/Common Ground). Over the years he’s performed with a dazzling pantheon of giants such as Ruth Brown, Peter Erskine, Kenny Werner, Barre Phillips, Tim Berne, Michael Formanek, Gary Thomas, Dave Douglas, Mike Clark, Ronu Majumdar, Kadri Gopalnath, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Greg Osby, Howard Levy and many others.

With this newest album, Behind the Vibration, realized via his new electric Junction, Abbasi takes another bold step, embracing his rock ‘n’ roll roots with a bear hug that encompasses post-bop, South Asian traditions, and state of the art sonics. “More than anything that I’ve ever recorded, this album is the convergence of everything I’m interested in,” he says. “The musicians I’ve chosen are versatile enough to pull it off. It’s not only all of the influences that have come up to this point, it’s also the process of merging it with the technology of today. This is music that could’ve only happened now.”

PROMOTIONAL TRACK //
If you'd like to share music from this release, please feel free to use the following track:
"Self-Brewing": @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

TEASER VIDEO
//

WATCH: Rez Abbasi & Junction - Behind the Vibration Teaser/EPK (Video)


PRE-ORDER LINKS
//
ITUNES - AMAZON - BANDCAMP - WAYSIDE MUSIC

ARTIST WEB SITES //
www.reztone.com - Rez Abbasi on Facebook

REZ ABBASI & JUNCTION - TOUR DATES: 2016
//

June 11
USA Greenwich House Music
46 Barrow St
NYC, NY 10014
Record release show!
June 12
USA Red Hook Jazz Festival
19 President St
Brooklyn, NY










For their Cuneiform Debut,
Globally-Acclaimed Rockers
- Bent Knee -
Create Say So,
a World-Class Album
Brimming with Catchy, Captivating Songs
That Channel the Best from Rock’s Spectrum,
from Pop to the Avant Garde




BENT KNEE
SAY SO

STREAM/SHARE: "Leak Water"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

Cat. #: Rune 417, Format: CD [8-Panel Digipak] / Digital Download
Genre: Rock / Indie Rock / Art-Rock / Pop / Avant-Progressive
Release Date: May 20, 2016


“Bent Knee's musicianship is superb, with vocals to die for, an interesting new turn at every corner, and never a dull moment. Highly recommended.”
- Bill Bruford

“Say So resoundingly demonstrates the increasing refinement and confidence of a group that doesn’t quite fit any conventional pigeonhole, with emphatic crunch, a knack for complexity, mixed with lively wit.”
- The Boston Globe

"...the new fantastic Bent Knee record... Brilliant! This band will soon be everywhere!"
- Nik Bärtsch

“Intricately woven, surrealist stylings... a potent sense of urgency tingles the air.”
- Consequence of Sound

Bent Knee is a band without frontiers. The Boston-based group seamlessly connects the worlds of rock, pop and the avant-garde into its own self-defining statement. On its Cuneiform debut release Say So, the band focuses on the sound of surprise. It’s rock for the thinking person. The group’s lyrics are dark and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations and the difficulty of conquering them. Its mercurial sound matches its subject matter. It’s a thrilling aural roller-coaster ride with arrangements designed to make listeners throw their arms up in wild abandon as they engage with them.

Say So resoundingly demonstrates the increasing refinement and confidence of a group that doesn’t quite fit any conventional pigeonhole, with emphatic crunch, a knack for complexity, mixed with lively wit,” said Steve Smith of The Boston Globe. “Live, the band projects visceral glee, exactingly harmonized and wholly infectious.”

Founded in 2009, Bent Knee is a true collective. The band operates as a democratic entity with sky-high standards and a determination to push boundaries. Frontwoman and keyboardist Courtney Swain’s acrobatic, multi-octave vocals are nothing less than extraordinary. Guitarist Ben Levin morphs between the hauntingly melodic and extreme, dissonant sonics—sometimes within a single verse or passage. Bassist Jessica Kion and drummer Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth deliver deep and thunderous grooves, full of engaging, intriguing ornamentation. Violinist Chris Baum’s driving melodic overlays and atmospheres further take the band’s sound into wild territory. And all of it is brilliantly processed and produced by sound designer Vince Welch.

Bent Knee has remained on a skyward trajectory since forming. Its last two albums, 2014’s Shiny Eyed Babies and its self-titled 2011 release, have been celebrated as significant art-rock achievements by important music publications, including Consequence of Sound, The Needle Drop, Innerviews, and Eclipsed. The group has performed more than 300 shows across the U.S., Canada and Japan to date and will embark on its first European tour this year. They’ve also headlined at major festivals and venues including The Lincoln Center, ROSfest, Tulsa Center of the Universe, and Campbell Bay Music Fest.

“What Bent Knee does is fuse the most extreme ends of pop and avant-garde music together,” says Welch. “We feel those things aren’t nearly as mutually exclusive as most people think.”

“When I listen back to Say So, I think it’s the most accessible thing Bent Knee has ever done,” continues Wallace-Ailsworth. “But other times, I think it’s the strangest thing Bent Knee has ever done. For instance, ‘Leak Water’ is a relatively linear rock tune by our standards, whereas ‘Eve’ is a sprawling, epic with radical twists and turns. I think the album reflects the full spectrum of our diverse musical personalities.”

Those extremes are also mirrored in the album’s lyrical themes.

“On Say So, we’re looking at the bigger picture and figuring out where we as individuals stand and how we carve out meaning in this giant universe,” explains Baum. “The album art captures that idea too. It’s why it features a figure lost in the woods, surrounded by darkness but looking out into the light.”

Even with those signifiers and aims, the band prefers its lyrics to be wide open to interpretation. It feels both listeners and the group itself benefit from that perspective.

“I’ve had listeners come up to me and say ‘Good Girl’ from Say So is a strong statement against women being patronized or oppressed and that hit me really hard,” says Swain. “It’s possible to consider those lyrics in that context, and that perspective helped me connect even more closely with the song. How people perceive our songs helps enrich and refresh the pieces for us as we perform them over time.”

One of the elements that significantly distinguishes Bent Knee is its adventurous arrangements. Each track is a true journey. In fact, pieces like “Eve” and “Counselor” are so diverse they reflect an almost “songs-within-a-song” approach.

“We try not to repeat ourselves within our structures,” says Kion. “If we find we’re creating a pattern such as ramping into a loud section and landing in a soft section right after it twice in a row, we’ll break it as soon as we notice it. We don't want to bore ourselves. We also want to surprise and intrigue listeners. We’re always trying to do new things with arrangements.”

“Another thing that stands out for us on Say So is that there are more dynamics within the sections of each piece,” adds Levin. “On previous albums, there were huge dynamic differences between sections. You’d hear songs that alternate between quiet passages, explosions, grooves, and long builds. On Say So, within a section, you’ll hear a lot more variety of loud and quiet, fullness and emptiness, ambience and dryness, and timbre changes. If you drew the dynamic arc of some of these pieces, it would look kind of like a Rorschach inkblot.”

Adding to Say So’s intrigue is the group’s decision to record some of the album in an unconventional space.

“A friend of ours pointed us to an empty, unlocked, million-square foot industrial complex in Boston,” says Baum. “We went in there to record so we could explore its unique sonic atmosphere. It felt like zombies were going to jump out anytime. It was a foreboding locale and gave the session a distinctly dark vibe. We captured some wild, reverb-drenched background vocals there.”

Prior to hitting the studio, the band road-tested Say So’s material at more than 50 gigs.

“It was extremely valuable to see how the pieces went over with audiences,” says Swain. “Playing live also gives all six of us a comprehensive understanding of where we sit in the registers of the songs, enabling us to adjust where the instruments fit in the mix. It’s also important for us to see how the lyrical motifs go over. The songs would be presented 70-80 percent finished to the audiences, leaving us with room to evolve the approach before finalizing them.”

Say So is a world-class album on every level. The band collectively obsessed over every detail in its determination to set a new standard for itself and the universe of ambitious songcraft.

“We now live in a time in which pretty much anyone in the Western world has access to the vast majority of recordings online,” says Welch. “So, the competition for musicians isn’t just the band down the street anymore. The competition is bands as big as Radiohead. To have a shot at success you have to aim to be that good. But even that’s not enough. You have to be patient and work at building up your audience like we’ve done for the last seven years. One of our mentors, the producer Susan Rogers, said to us ‘Slow growth is real growth.’ It’s advice we’ve taken to heart across this journey.”

That journey has now brought them into Cuneiform’s orbit—a transition the band is thrilled with on every level.

“It means a lot for us to be on Cuneiform because of the incredibly high standards of the other artists on the roster,” says Levin. “It’s a world where music is treated as art. Working with Cuneiform means we can make the music we love and connect with a lot of like-minded listeners. It’s fantastic to be in such great company, both in terms of the musicians they work with, as well as the uncompromising vision the label adheres to.”

PROMOTIONAL TRACK //
If you'd like to share music from this release, please feel free to use the following track:
"Leak Water": @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

MUSIC VIDEOS //

[WATCH: Bent Knee - Leak Water (Official Video)]


[WATCH: Bent Knee - Black Tar Water (Official Video)]

PRE-ORDER LINKS
//
ITUNES - AMAZON - BANDCAMP - WAYSIDE MUSIC

ARTIST WEB SITES //
www.bentkneemusic.com - Bent Knee on Facebook - Bent Knee on Twitter
Bent Knee on CuneiformRecords.com

BENT KNEE - TOUR DATES: 2016 //

May 6
7:30PM
USA Zabinski Music Studio (acoustic show)
999 Main St #711a
Pawtucket, RI 02860
May 8 USA RoSFEST 2016
Majestic Theatre
25 Carlisle St
Gettysburg, PA
May 12
8:30PM
USA One Bar
1 Pearl St
Northampton, MA 01060
May 13
9PM
USA Ralph’s Rock Diner
148 Grove St
Worcester, MA 01605
May 14
USA Hi-Hat @ Mill No. 5
250 Jackson St
Lowell, MA 01852
May 19
7:30PM
USA ONCE Ballroom
156 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
*record release show*
May 20
7:30PM
USA Songbyrd Music House
2477 18th St NW
Washington, DC
May 21
7:30PM
USA Orion Live Music Showcase
Orion Sound

2903 Whittington Ave, STE C
Baltimore, MD
June 2
8PM
USA Empire
575 Congress St
Portland, ME 04101
June 4
8PM
USA Lyric Hall
827 Whalley Ave
New Haven, CT 06515
June 5
8PM
USA News Cafe
43 Broad St
Pawtucket, RI 02860
June 8
8PM
USA Bube’s Brewery
102 N Market St
Mount Joy, PA 17552
June 9
11PM
USA The Bowery Electric
327 Bowery
NYC, NY 10003
June 10
8PM
USA private concert
Worcester, OH
[contact band for details]
June 11
8PM
USA Louie’s Back Room
629 Walbridge St
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
June 12
9PM
USA Ladder 11
936 Brown St
Dayton, OH 45409
June 13
9PM
USA miniBar
3810 Broadway
Kansas City, MO 64111
June 16
8PM
USA Elbo Room
647 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
June 17
8PM
USA SLG Art Boutiki
44 Race St
San Jose, CA 95126
June 18
9PM
USA Black Forest
50 E 11th Ave
Eugene, OR 97401
June 20
8PM
USA Victory Lounge
433 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle, WA 98109
June 21
9PM
USA Coo Coo Nest
1017 East 1st St
Port Angeles, WA
June 22
8PM
CA The Vault
499 Wallace St
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5B7, Canada
June 25
8PM
CA Campbell Bay Music Festival
Iredale Farm
327 Campbell Bay Road
Mayne Island, B.C.
Canada
July 28 DE Burg Herzberg Festival
Hof Huhnstadt
Breitenbach Am Herzberg
Germany
August 4 CZ Eurocentrum
Jablonec Nad Nisou
Czech Republic

Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek & Tomas Fujiwara
the All-Star Collective Trio Thumbscrew –
Deliver a Startlingly Beautiful Second Album with Convallaria,
Featuring Music Cultivated During an Inspired Residency at
City of Asylum/Pittsburgh


THUMBSCREW
CONVALLARIA

STREAM/SHARE: "Sampsonian Rhythms"
stream: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

Cat. #: Rune 415, Format: CD / Digital Download
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: May 20, 2016

“The barrage of riffs are both epic and melodic, the low end beefy and the percussion massive. Expect nothing less than magic from these three avant purveyors."
The Village Voice

Creative artists aren’t subject to state persecution in the United States, but indifference can exact its own cost, just as generous support can pay steep dividends. Convallaria, the startlingly beautiful new Cuneiform album by the collective trio Thumbscrew, offers an all-too-rare case study in the power of underwritten sequestration.

Featuring veteran bass master Michael Formanek, protean guitarist Mary Halvorson, and indefatigably resourceful drummer Tomas Fujiwara, Thumbscrew spent two weeks honing the tunes on Convallaria at City of Asylum, an artist residency program in Pittsburgh originally launched as a refuge for writers in exile. In recent years City of Asylum has expanded its purview to include musicians, establishing the BNY Mellon Jazz Residency that in June/July 2015 hosted Thumbscrew. For Thumbscrew, the opportunity for intensive, undistracted collaboration yielded a particularly striking body of music, even by the standards of these prodigious players.

Already closely bonded by extensive collaborations in a variety of overlapping ensembles, the powerhouse triumvirate got to spend the kind of concentrated time together that’s “almost unheard of these days,” says Formanek. “I’ve done some composition residencies working on my own. But we were all there together, working on music every day, trying things out. I miss that from my younger days.”

“It was amazing,” agrees Halvorson. “Everyone’s so busy. Even with my own band it can be like pulling teeth to get one rehearsal together. For two weeks we played every day and worked on all the new music. It really helped us to take the band to the next level.”

Judging from the results, their time was well spent. Like Thumbscrew’s 2014 eponymous Cuneiform debut, Convallaria is the work of a true collective with all three players contributing compositions and taking equal responsibility for shaping the music’s flow. While exploring an array of improvisational spaces, the band has honed a sinewy sound marked by transparent textures and astringent rhythms. It’s music that pushes outward and snaps back into unexpectedly altered forms.

The album opens with Halvorson’s “Cleome,” a deliberately paced, ominously pulsing piece that builds tension with almost perverse patience. She also wrote the closing piece, “Inevitable,” a beatific ballad full of bent notes that bring to mind Hawaiian slack key playing (if Honolulu was annexed by Brooklyn). She also contributed the arpeggiated title track, which features some particularly luscious lines by Formanek. Like “Cleome,” a genus of flower, “Convallaria” takes its name from a plant, “the Lily of the Valley,” says Halvorson, “which is sweetly scented and highly poisonous, which I thought is a good description of Thumbscrew.”

The knife’s edge balance of beauty and danger suffuses the album. With Halvorson alternating between stinging single note runs and thick strummed chords, Fujiwara’s stutter stepping “Barn Fire Slum Brew” opens up for a sunbeam melodic passage by Formanek in the middle, sliding through the ominous atmosphere. The bassist is out front on Fujiwara’s “The Cardinal and the Weathervane,” a three-section piece that “definitely benefitted from the process of how we rehearsed,” Fujiwara says. “We played it every day for the two weeks, and kept refining it. I really like transitions that shift the perspective quickly.”

Fujiwara’s suggestively clattery trap work kicks off Formanek’s “Samsonian Rhythms,” a concise and slyly grooving piece that generates terrific momentum without increasing volume or changing tempo. With its portentous, grinding atmosphere, “Screaming Piha” might be the last tune on the album one would guess was inspired by a birdcall, but the piece is loosely based on the loud and distinctive call of the titular South American fowl. If Formanek is responsible for the album’s most forbidding tune, he also wrote the wackiest with “Danse Insensé,” with feels like a vintage promenade until Fujiwara’s cloppety rhumba-esque solo. By the time the trio comes back in, we’ve visited Havana, vaudeville and indeterminate destinations in between, a journey that captures Thumbscrew’s wit and WTF insouciance.

Part of what makes Thumbscrew such an extraordinary ensemble is that the trio has become one of the era’s signature rhythm sections. They’re the foundation for Formanek’s Ensemble Kolossus, the hair-raising and ridiculously talent-laden large ensemble that recently released its debut recording, The Distance, on ECM.  Formanek joined Halvorson on Tomas Fujiwara and The Hook Up’s third release, the critically hailed 2015 album After All Is Said (482 Music) with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and Brian Settles on tenor saxophone and flute. And Halvorson is in the midst of creating music for a new band featuring Fujiwara, Formanek, vocalist Amirtha Kidambi, and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, a group “I really heard Thumbscrew for,” Halvorson says. “It one of my favorite rhythm sections, the power and energy and everything we create together. At this point, all of us have used the rhythm section as leaders.”

Halvorson and Fujiwara first started playing together in cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum’s Sextet. Among other bands, they also work together in the collective quartets Reverse Blue (with Chris Speed and Eivind Opsvik) and The Thirteenth Assembly (with Bynum and violist Jessica Pavone), and Mike Reed’s fascinating Sun Ra-inspired ensemble Living By Lanterns, which released the acclaimed 2012 Cuneiform album New Myth/Old Science. They also join forces on cellist Tomeka Reid’s debut album Tomeka Reid Quartet (Thirsty Ear) and with clarinetist Ben Goldberg on The Out Louds (Relative Pitch Records), a collective trio featuring their live-wire connection in a free improv setting.

Raised in Boston and based in Brooklyn, Mary Halvorson spent three formative years at Wesleyan University studying and playing with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, eventually performing on six of his recordings. Since graduating from Wesleyan in 2002, she’s become a ubiquitous presence in the circles where left-field jazz and improvised music intersect. Recognized as one of the most important and resourceful new voices on guitar to emerge in the past decade, she’s a doggedly idiosyncratic artist who “can define the character of an entire band’s tonal makeup without have to scream for attention,” says S. Victor Aaron.

An invaluable collaborator, Halvorson has been sought out by bandleaders such as Tim Berne, Curtis Hasselbring, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Ches Smith, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey, Marc Ribot, and Trevor Dunn. She’s equally prolific as a bandleader in her own right. She’s developed a body of music for solo guitar (documented on the 2015 Firehouse 12 album Meltframe), and leads a combustible trio with bassist John Hebert and drummer Ches Smith. Her muscular quintet adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the mix, and more recently Halvorson expanded the quintet to a septet with tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik, a group featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea.

Born and raised in Boston, MA, Tomas Fujiwara studied with legendary drummer and teacher Alan Dawson for eight years before moving to New York at the age of 17. The Brooklyn-based drummer and composer was recently described by Troy Collins in Point of Departure as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming.”

Fujiwara is a key component in some of the most exciting music of the current generation, from his own bands Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up and The Tomas Fujiwara Trio (with Ralph Alessi and Brandon Seabrook) to his collaborative duo with Taylor Ho Bynum, and a diversity of creative sideman work with forward thinking peers like Matana Roberts, Tomeka Reid, Nicole Mitchell, Mike Reed, Matt Bauder, Matt Mitchell, Amir ElSafar, and Josh Sinton’s Steve Lacy-centric Ideal Bread. He can also be found in revelatory projects with artists such as Anthony Braxton, Ben Goldberg, Benoit Delbecq, and Briggan Krauss.

Halvorson and Fujiwara connected with Formanek when he subbed in Bynum’s band in 2011, and the chemistry was so readily apparent they immediately started looking into performance opportunities as a trio. Since then their paths have continued to intersect in various creatively fruitful endeavors.

One of jazz’s definitive bassists since the 1980s, Michael Formanek has also made major contributions as a bandleader, composer and educator. Born in San Francisco, he first gained attention at 18 through his work with Tony Williams Lifetime, and spent much of the 1980s as a sideman with heavyweights such as Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Dave Liebman, Fred Hersch, and Attila Zoller. He made his recording debut as a leader in 1990 with Wide Open Spaces, an acclaimed album featuring saxophonist Greg Osby, violinist Mark Feldman, guitarist Wayne Krantz and drummer Jeff Hirshfield.

He spent much of the 1990s in various collaborations with Tim Berne, first recording on the 1992 trio session with Hirshfield, Loose Cannon. Formanek toured and recorded widely with the Berne’s band Bloodcount, while also leading his own septet with Berne, Dave Douglas, Marty Ehrlich, Kuumba Frank Lacy, Marvin “Smitty” Smith and Salvatore Bonafede. In addition to his work as a bandleader, Formanek has recorded prolifically as an accompanist on albums by Jane Ira Bloom, Uri Caine, James Emery, Lee Konitz, Kevin Mahogany, and the Mingus Big Band. Based in Baltimore since 2003, he is the director of the Peabody Jazz Orchestra and the jazz bass instructor at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of Music. He continues to perform and collaborate with a dazzling array of improvisers, but there’s no doubt that he’s found a home base with Halvorson and Fujiwara, whether they’re performing as Thumbscrew or some other ensemble.

“We’ve explored a lot of different music in these other projects,” Formanek says. “You get to a point where there’s a lot of familiarity, not with what’s going to happen but with possibilities and where we can push the envelope and do stuff we hadn’t done. Convallaria was such an opportunity to bring all those experiences into play. We’ve matured as a group. We’ve gotten to know each other much better, and I think that comes through in the music.”

Fertilized by the depth and diversity of various shared and independent collaborations, and nurtured by City of Asylum’s BNY Mellon Jazz Residency, a hothouse for musical creativity, in Convallaria, Thumbscrew’s creative synergy has come to full flower.

PROMOTIONAL TRACK //
If you'd like to share music from this release, please feel free to use the following track:
"Sampsonian Rhythms": @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

PRE-ORDER LINKS
//
ITUNES - AMAZON - BANDCAMP - WAYSIDE MUSIC

ARTIST WEB SITES //
www.thumbscrew.net - Thumbscrew on Facebook - Thumbscrew on Twitter
Thumbscrew on CuneiformRecords.com

THUMBSCREW - TOUR DATES: 2016
//

May 12
USA Roulette
509 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Record release show!
May 31
USA Bop Stop
2920 Detroit Ave
Cleveland, OH
June 1
USA Radio Radio
1119 East Prospect
Indianapolis, IN
June 2 USA Sugar Maple
441 East Lincoln Ave
Milwaukee, WI
June 3 USA TBA - Lafayette, IN
June 4 USA Constellation
3111 North Western Ave
Chicago, IL
June 5 USA Kerrytown Concert House
415 North 4th Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI
July 25 USA Lincoln Center
10 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023
August 5 USA The Stone
Corner of Avenue C
and 2nd Street
NYC, NY
2 shows!
October 8 USA City of Asylum
324 Sampsonia Way
Pittsburgh, PA

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Adam Rudolph Residency at The Stone: May 24-29, 2016


Composer, Improviser, Conductor, & Percussionist
- Adam Rudolph -
Curates a One-Week Residency at
The Stone, New York City
May 24-29th, 2016

Following the release of several significant new recordings (including the first-ever Go: Organic GUITAR Orchestra album on Cuneiform) and numerous US and European concerts, Rudolph caps Spring 2016
- a season of unprecedented creative activity -
by curating a week-long residency at The Stone.





Based in NYC, Adam Rudolph has long been a key figure in the jazz, creative/classical and world music communities, working both solo and in long-term collaboration with such renowned musicians as Yusef Lateef. A composer, bandleader, and percussionist, he is deeply immersed in hybrid music and interactive live performance using written and graphic charts and conducted improvisation. Rudolph performs with a wide variety of ensembles, ranging from solos to duets to large orchestras.

One of Rudolph's main focuses since the new Millenium's dawn has been to transform the Western / Classical concept of "orchestra" to make it relevant for the 21st century. For the last 15 years, he has been widely acclaimed for his Go: Organic Orchestra, which features a variety of classical, ethnic and modern instruments. The Go: Organic Orchestra's live performances, described as "visionary" by the New York Times, are legendary, with Rudolph frequently conducting the group at festivals worldwide.

Most recently, Rudolph assembled and recorded an all-guitar version of Go: Organic Orchestra. Cuneiform Records released the Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra's debut album, Turning Towards the Light, in late 2015. The orchestra consists of eleven world-renowned guitarists including Rez Abbasi, Nels Cline, Damon Banks, Marco Capelli, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Joel Harrison, Miles Okazaki, Kenny Wessel, Jerome Harris and Marvin Sewell. The Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra will perform on May 29th as the grand finale of Rudolph's week-long 2016 residency at The Stone.

Those interested in Creative Music - breathtaking contemporary music that defies single genres, encompassing jazz, classical, world & more - and those interested in maintaining the relevancy of the orchestra and classical music in the 21st century should check out Adam Rudolph's upcoming performances at The Stone. Rudolph's concerts are always a revelation: his week-long residency is not something be missed.


"A genuinely original, captivating, and interactive performance” -Village Voice

“A visionary large performance” -NY Times

****

MAY 2016

- The Stone -
Adam Rudolph One-Week Residency
May 24th-29th, 2016




The Stone
at the corner of Avenue C and 2nd St.
New York, NY 10009
$15/set (no advance sales)
(212) 473-0043
http://thestonenyc.com

Tuesday, May 24th
8:00PM
Adam Rudolph and Wadada Leo Smith:
Wadada Leo Smith - trumpet
Adam Rudolph – handrumset (kongos, djembe, tarija, zabumba), thumb pianos, sintir, multiphonic vocal, percussion;
James Dellatacoma - electronic processing
10:00 pm
Adam Rudolph Quartet:
Adam Rudolph – handrumset (kongos, djembe, tarija, zabumba), thumb pianos, sintir, multiphonic vocal, percussion
Marco Cappelli - acoustic guitar, looping and electronics
Kaoru Watanabe - noh kan, fue, c flute
James Dallatacoma - electronic processing

Wednesday, May 25th

8:00 pm
Electro-Acoustic Trio:
Adam Rudolph - electronic processing, handrumset (kongos, djembe, tarija, zabumba), thumb pianos, sintir, multiphonic vocal, percussion
Graham Haynes - cornet, flugelhorn, percussion, electronics
Aruan Ortiz - piano, electronics, lap top
10:00 pm
Go: Organic Woodwind Orchestra:
Composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph
Sylvain Leroux - tambin fulani flute, c flute, bamboo flutes
Michel Gentile and Z!" Luis Oliveira - C and alto flute, bamboo flutes
Kaoru Watanabe - noh kan, fue, c flute
Batya Sobel - oboe
Sara Schoenbeck - bassoon, sona
J D Parran - contra alto clarinet, bamboo flute, kalimbas
Ned Rothenberg - B flat & bass clarinet, shakuhachi
Ivan Barenboim - B flat clarinet, bamboo flutes
Sean Sonderegger - contra bass clarinet, & bass clarinet

Thursday, May 26th
8:00 pm
Dave Liebman and Adam Rudolph Duet:
Dave Liebman - soprano and tenor saxophone, assorted flutes
Adam Rudolph - handrumset (kongos, djembe, tarija, zabumba), thumb pianos, sintir, multiphonic vocal, percussion
10:00 pm
Go: Organic String Orchestra
Composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph
Elektra Kurtis, Julianne Carney, Sana Nagano, Trina Basu, Sarah Bernstein, Mark Chung - violins
Gwen Laster, Melanie Dyer, Stephanie Griffen - violas
Marika Hughes - cello
Marzo Reis, Emma Alabaster - contrabass

Friday, May 27th
8:00 pm
Gift of the Gnawa plus special guest Steve Gorn:
Hassan Hakmoun - sintir and vocal
Adam Rudolph - handrumset,udu and cajon
Steve Gorn - bansuri flute
Abderahim Hakmoun - qarqaba and vocal
10:00 pm
Gift of the Gnawa plus special guest Graham Haynes:
Hassan Hakmoun - sintir and vocal
Adam Rudolph - handrumset and cajon
Abderahim Hakmoun - qarqaba and vocal
Graham Haynes - cornet

Saturday, May 28th
8:00 pm
Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures:
Adam Rudolph - compositions, handrumset (kongos, djembe, tarija, zabumba) , thumb pianos, sintir, multiphonic vocal, percussion
Graham Haynes - cornet, flugelhorn, percussion, electronics
James Hurt - drums percussion
Kenny Wessel - el. guitar, electronics,banjo
Alexis Marcelo - fender rhodes, piano, percussion
Damon Banks - el. bass
10:00 pm
Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures:
Adam Rudolph - compositions, handrumset (kongos, djembe, tarija, zabumba),  thumb pianos, sintir, multiphonic vocal, percussion
Graham Haynes - cornet, flugelhorn, percussion, electronics
James Hurt - drums percussion
Kenny Wessel - el. guitar, electronics, banjo
Alexis Marcelo - fender rhodes, piano, percussion
Damon Banks - el. bass

Sunday, May 29th
8:00 pm
Hu: Vibrational presents The Epic Botanical Beat Suite:
Jame Dellatacoma - electronic processing
Adam Rudolph - compositions, bata, slit drum, rebolo, gankogoui, udu, percussion
James Hurt - sogo, kidi, igbo bell, udu, percussion
Matt Kilmer - frame drum, djembe, kanjira, udu
Tim Kieper - dusun’goni, pandiero, udu, percussion
Keita Ogawa - earthtone drum, frame drum, hadjira, pandeiro, udu, percussion
Joe Hertenstein - gongs, cymbals, udu, percussion
John Hadfield - frame drums, udu, percussion
Shane Shanahan - frame drums, , pandeiro, udu, percussion
10:00 pm
Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra:
Composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph
Nels Cline, Rez Abbasi, Miles Okazaki, David Gilmore, Marco Cappelli, Liberty Ellman, Joel Harrison, Kenny Wessel - electric guitars and electronic processing
Damon Banks - bass guitar
Jerome Harris - electric guitar and bass guitar



We look forward to seeing you at these very special concerts!

Please help us to spread the word about these shows.

Concert booking: Adam Rudolph and his groupings are available for festival bookings worldwide. To book a show, please contact Adam@MetaRecords.com

********



jump to: press quotes // press release // press photos

ADAM RUDOLPH / GO: ORGANIC GUITAR ORCHESTRA
TURNING TOWARDS THE LIGHT
Cuneiform Records 2015

STREAM/SHARE: "Heliotropic"
@SOUNDCLOUD / @BANDCAMP / @YOUTUBE

Cat. #: Rune 406, Format: CD / DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
Genre: Guitar / Improv / Experimental / Jazz / Creative Music

Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra:
Rez Abbasi - electric guitar
Damon Banks - electric bass guitar
Marco Capelli - acoustic guitar, effects
Nels Cline - electric guitar
Liberty Ellman - electric guitar
David Gilmore - electric guitar
Joel Harrison - electric guitar, national steel guitar
Jerome Harris - electric guitar, electric bass guitar, lap steel guitar
Miles Okazaki - electric guitar
Marvin Sewell - electric guitar, electric slide guitar
Kenny Wessel - electric guitar, banjo

Composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph

Produced by Adam Rudolph


SELECTIONS FROM PRESS RECEIVED THUS FAR.
for TURNING TOWARDS THE LIGHT:

"“On the shortlist for the best modern guitar record of the year is Turning Towards The Light... by Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra. In part because it features ten of the most accomplished, forward thinking jazz guitarists in New York, which, when it comes to jazz, means the world. Rez Abbasi, Nels Cline, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Miles Okazaki, Marco Capelli, Jerome Harris, Joel Harrison, Kenny Wessel, and Marvin Sewell, join Damon Banks on bass to form an ensemble unlike any you have heard.
Turning Towards The Light is must listening for anyone who wants to hear great music that is not about ‘guitar,’ but nevertheless couldn’t have been made by any other instruments. Rudolph took time to explain his organizational system and the process of forging 10 disparate instrumental voices into a cohesive unit...”
-Guitar Moderne: Spotlight: Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra," Michael Ross, Guitar Moderne, March 4, 2015

This acoustic-electric guitar summit by an upper-echelon congregation of modernists yields a polychromatic listening experience wherein the guitarists simply tear it up...
...a thought- provoking sequence of musical events, often budging matters into another realm, starkly unlike conventional guitar summit fare. ...4/4 Stars
-Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

“Rudolph has assembled an incredible cast of string-benders, all jazz players but those with an eclectic/inclusive approach....
Rudolph- who does not play on this album and does not play guitar- has created his own auditory universe, one in which jazz improvisation, rock imagination and audacity, minimalism and rhythmic aspects from African and Indian music interlace simultaneously. This is truly Music of the Spheres- his, ours, and some new ones we haven’t visited yet."
- Mark Keresman, New York City Jazz Record

“An incredible all star band” -Dan Ouellete / Zeal NYC

“The resonating weaves and shifting dynamics are inspired” -Jazz Times

“...Turning Towards the Light is a very 'guitar' centric album, and with the omission of drums, it's up to the various players to create not only the lead melodies but also the rhythms.
...'Spacious, melodic, atmospheric, and at times raucous, Turning Towards the Light is ultimately a very pleasing listen to jazz, rock, and avant-garde fans, as well as all the guitar geeks out there. ...4/5 Stars”
-Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility

"[2015 Top 5] Large Ensemble Release”NYC Jazz Record

"a not-to-be-missed release. 4.5 stars out of 5" -All About Jazz Italy

PRESS RELEASE: TURNING TOWARDS THE LIGHT:

On the Winter Solstice of 2014 – the Northern Hemisphere’s longest night of the year – composer, bandleader & percussionist Adam Rudolph convened 11 of New York City’s finest and most adventurous guitarists in a New Jersey studio for a most auspicious event: the debut of Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra, his all-guitar orchestra.  In attendance were guitarists Rez Abbasi, Nels Cline, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Miles Okazaki, and Marvin Sewell, all on electric guitars and effects; Damon Banks on bass guitar; Marco Capelli on acoustic guitar, effects; Jerome Harris on electric guitar, electric bass guitar, and lap steel guitar; Joel Harrison on electric guitar and national steel guitar; and Kenny Wessel on electric guitar and banjo. Rudolph had assembled an all-star orchestra; each of these remarkable guitarists were composers and bandleaders in their own right, with a collective musical experience that spanned a universe of contemporary music, from Wilco to Cassandra Wilson to Ornette Coleman and beyond. The studio’s atmosphere on that dark November night was electric. With Rudolph at the helm, an antenna conducting musical charts and creative improvisational energy, the orchestra began to play.  The result is this extraordinary release, Turning Towards the Light, the dawn of Rudolph’s visionary, all-guitar “Future Orchestra” and his first release on DC-based Cuneiform Records.

Turning Towards the Light is the 10th release in Adam Rudolph’s series of recordings for Go: Organic Orchestra, a concept for “new” global/creative orchestra that he began developing in 2001. His previous 9 recordings for Go: Organic Orchestra, released on Meta Records, featured an array of instrumentation to bring to life his rhythmically unique creative music. But for Turning Towards the Light, Rudolph envisioned a new kind of orchestral sound conveyed by a single instrument: guitars, whose strings, coaxed by the right hands, are capable of unleashing an orchestra of different musical sounds. He says: “I try to do something new with each performance and recording. This time I wanted to experiment with a new kind of orchestration. I felt that with their range of sound and rhythm, these 11 electric guitars could generate a sonic palate that had never been heard before. I was looking for a new kind of “Future Orchestra”  – and I think we found it.”

Rudolph grew up and began playing music on the South Side of Chicago, performing with artists like Fred Anderson. By 1978 he was touring Europe with Don Cherry. Hailed by the New York Times as “a pioneer in world music”, in 1977 Rudolph began his collaborations with kora player Foday Musa Suso, followed by his work with the Gnawa musician Hassan Hakmoun, L. Shankar and other musicians from around the globe.  His longest and most significant collaboration was with the great Yusef Lateef; from 1988 until Yusef’s passing in 2013 they performed as a duet and collaborated as composers on many large ensemble projects. “Even when I started focusing more on my own music projects in the early 1990’s, I would always make the time to tour and record with Yusef. I learned so much from him not only about music, but how to live a deeper more spiritual life.”

Since 1992, Rudolph’s primary outlet for his unique compositional vision has been his Moving Pictures ensemble. But in 2001, he founded Go: Organic Orchestra to expand his instrumentation. “I had always been interested in the idea of an orchestral concept of world music, and fascinated not only with the sounds but also with the organizing concepts that structure orchestrations from around the world. …the colotomic structure of Javanese Gamelan or the thematic fibers of a Bantu drum and trumpet orchestra are all valid ways of organizing orchestra. At the same time my approach to orchestra comes out of my work since 1974 in electronic music.  With Go: Organic Orchestra, I feel the resonance of iconic electronic music composers such as Pierre Schafer, Stockhausen or Subotnick. And of course I am, like many creative musicians today, a student of the great 20th Century composers of the European tradition – Messian, Carter, Ligeti, Bartok and my personal favorite, Toru Takemitsu.”



[Adam Rudolph / Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra]

Rudolph has integrated and transformed these influences into a highly personalized language, a language whose rhythmic component, which he calls “Cyclic Verticalism,” combines polyrhythms (from African music) and rhythm cycles (from Indian music). Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra has performed worldwide at music festivals and served residencies in such countries as USA, Turkey, Mexico, Italy, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

Rudolph’s process is more egalitarian and community driven than the top down structure of Western orchestra. “My idea is to get the most structural and aesthetic focus from the music with the least amount of reading. I want the musicians to bring their own voice, feeling, and phraseology to the music. In a kind of “de-composing” process, he creates graphic scores that consist of what he calls “pure elements” – “Interval Matrices,” “Cosmograms” and Ostinatos of Circularity”. Add to the process Rudolph’s unique conducting method. “Through trial and error I have invented my own way of conducting. As with the score, I wanted my conducting to yield as much interpretative range as I could get with the fewest, simplest and clearest gestures possible. I think of my conducting method as being more related to the idea of something that conducts electricity than someone who is always leading. When I begin a concert, I don’t know what is going to happen, how the music will unfold. After my initial gesture, as I hear the first sounds of the orchestra I follow the feelings and ideas of where the music flows. But we are all PREPARED due to deep study of the elements in the score. So the score, the musicians and myself as conductor, we all dialogue in a process which I consider “organic.”

With the Go: Organic Guitar Orchestrahe moves the idea of what an orchestra can actually BE resolutely into the 21st century. He states: “When you generate new creative processes, the result will be prototypical art.” On Turning Towards the Lightthe 11 guitarists sound in turn like a futuristic string section, percussion group, woodwinds, and brass. Rudolph says that his NOT being a guitarist was an advantage in leading this project. “Since I don’t play guitar, I don’t really think “guitaristically,” I’m thinking compositionally and percussively. Perhaps that led us into some areas we might not have gotten to otherwise. I have to say also that these musicians were so incredible – they were so generous in letting their virtuosity serve the musical moment. They played with so much imagination and soulfulness. I am grateful.”

Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra is a natural evolution for Rudolph’s orchestral vision. The music asks to be heard on its own terms; its unprecedented sounds and formulations invite the listener to set aside their preconceived ideas and expectations. Rudolph adds: “while I was mixing the recording I felt the music itself was so new that is was teaching me HOW to listen to itself. The act of listening to it became a creative activity. I think there are still people who like to engage music that way.”

To celebrate the release of Turning Towards the Light, Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra will be playing shows in major cities along the East Coast, in venues including Roulette and Ars Nova. The all-star guitar orchestra is also available for festival bookings worldwide.



[WATCH: Adam Rudolph/Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra Live @ Fringe Arts, Philadelphia, PA - 11.22.2015 - #1]


ADAM RUDOLPH / GO: ORGANIC GUITAR ORCHESTRA WEB SITES //
www.metarecords.com/go.html - @Facebook - www.cuneiformrecords.com

PROMOTIONAL TRACK //
If you'd like to share music from this release, please feel free to use the following track:
"Heliotropic": @SOUNDCLOUD / @BANDCAMP / @YOUTUBE

PURCHASE LINKS
//
ITUNES - AMAZON - BANDCAMP [24 bit / 48khz] - WAYSIDE MUSIC

ARTIST WEB SITES //
www.metarecords.com/go.html - @Facebook - www.cuneiformrecords.com

HIGH-RES PROMO PHOTOS // photo credits in file names.